Eritrea facts for kids

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State of Eritrea

ሃገረ ኤርትራ  Hagere Ertra
دولة إرتريا  Dawlat Iritriyā
Emblem of Eritrea
Anthem: Ertra, Ertra, Ertra
Eritrea, Eritrea, Eritrea
Location of Eritrea
and largest city
Official languages Tigrinya
Ethnic groups
55% Tigrinya
30% Tigre
4% Saho
2% Kunama
2% Rashaida
2% Bilen
5% othera
Demonym(s) Eritrean
Government Single-party provisional government
• President
Isaias Afewerki
• From Italy
November 1941
• From United Kingdom under UN Mandate
• from Ethiopia de facto
24 May 1991
• From Ethiopia de jure
24 May 1993
• Total
117,600 km2 (45,400 sq mi) (101st)
• Water (%)
• 2012 estimate
6,086,495 (107th)
• 2008 census
• Density
51.8/km2 (134.2/sq mi) (154th)
GDP (PPP) 2012 estimate
• Total
$4.397 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate
• Total
$3.108 billion
• Per capita
HDI (2011) Steady 0.349
low · 177th
Currency Nakfa (ERN)
Time zone UTC+3 (EAT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (not observed)
Driving side right
Calling code 291
ISO 3166 code ER
Internet TLD .er
a. Afar, Beni-Amer, Nara.
not official languages, working languages only
A map of Eritrea

Eritrea is a country on the eastern coast of Africa. Its official name is The State of Eritrea.


Eritrean Highlands
Eritrean highlands.

Eritrea is located on the coast on the Red Sea. It is north of the Bab-el-Mandeb and the Horn of Africa. Eritrea has borders with the countries of Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. The land area of Eritrea is 101,000 km², and it is one of the smallest countries in Africa.


The population of Eritrea is about 5.6 million. About 0.5 million people live in Asmara. People from Eritrea are called Eritreans. Most of them speak Tigrinya or Tigre as their first language. The people usually use Tigrinya or Arabic for official business.

Eritrea has nine ethnic groups. These are the Afar people, the Bilen people, the Hedareb people, the Kunama, the Nara, the Rashaida, the Saho, the Tigre, and Tigray-Tigrinya.

The currency of Eritrea is called the Nakfa. Eritrea is a very poor country. Almost half of Eritrea's economy comes from Eritreans who live abroad. They send money home to their families. Most of the rest comes from farming.

Football and cycling are the most popular sports in Eritrea. In recent years, Eritrean athletes have also seen increasing success in the international arena.


Eritrea became an independent country on 24 May 1993. It is one of the newest countries in the world.

Many different countries have ruled the land that is now called Eritrea. Between 1885 and 1941 it was a colony of Italy. Between 1941 and 1952, the United Nations put it under the protection of United Kingdom. After 1952, Eritrea became a part of Ethiopia. This was the reason for a long civil war between the Eritreans and the government of Ethiopia.

Eventually, in 1993, Eritrea became an independent country after a vote by its people.


Eritrea is known for being the most oppressive country in Africa, sometimes considered to be the "North Korea of Africa". The nation has been accused of many human rights violations, severely limited freedoms, and many arbitrary (made-up) arrests.

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